Any Port in a Storm

We woke up this morning with the pleasant thought of having a whole relaxing day at sea; we had already looked at the Daily Times programme of events to see that there was a packed itinerary in store for us today. The weather was, as usual, below zero and the motion of the Borealis was very discernible. Raindrops poured down our window; well, we thought they were raindrops until we saw that there was a lot of sea-spray around, with the wind lashing it against the glass at regular intervals. ๐Ÿ™‚

As we walked through the swimming pool area on the way to the Lido buffet, we noticed some crew members out mopping up the water that was sloshing about. Despite the net over the pool closing it to passengers, the pool hadn’t been emptied and, as the ship pitched and rolled the water splashed and overflowed. As we were walking through, a voice called “Excuse me, young lady” (it’s a while since I’ve been called ‘young lady’, ha ha) and an elderly lady asked me to take her arm as she was afraid of slipping or falling. We then gingerly picked our way over the wet tiles and ensured the lady made it safely into the restaurant.

We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the buffet as usual, and had to be careful when walking around because of the ship’s motion. We actually quite like it when it’s rough; you know you’re on a ship then! ๐Ÿ™‚

After breakfast we decided to attend a talk given by our ‘resident’ atronomer Martin Lunn, called “Our Neighbour The Moon”. It was a fascinating talk of about 45 minutes and covered the ancient myths and beliefs and the fact that it’s the only place that man has set foot apart from Planet Earth. All very interesting.

Afterwards, we went up to the buffet and got a cup of coffee each; the weather hadn’t let up and there were still plenty of white horses dancing on the waves. We then returned to cabin 3326 and read and relaxed for a while, before the Captain’s voice came over the tannoy with the noon navigational information. When he announced the latitude and longitude, we realised we had crossed the Arctic Circle again at some point as the latitute was lower than 66ยบ 33′ N. The captain advised us that, because of the wind (which was currently Force 7 on the Beaufort Scale) and the high swell, we would be seeking refuge in our next port of call, Trondheim, around 5.00pm today, instead of our planned arrival into port tomorrow morning. This would ensure we had a more comfortable night rather than the Borealis being tossed around on the ocean like a pea on a drum. ๐Ÿ™‚

Around 12.30pm we went up to the Lido restaurant again as usual, and our drinks (cava for me and a pint of Strongbow for Trevor) appeared with all speed, thanks to Stanley, who had spotted us coming in, long before we spotted him. I enjoyed a mix of crisp salad vegetables and cold meats, followed by a small selection of cheeses, which included the inevitable Brunost, yum yum.

We then went up to the Observatory to take part in the “Name That Tune” music quiz. Looking out of the window, we could see that the sun had come out and there were fewer white horses, although a long sea swell was still very much in evidence.

We each ordered a cocktail while members of the entertainments team came around with answer papers and pencils, and Hubert came over to see what shoes I was wearing! (just flip-flops today as we were inside in the warmth). Then the quiz started with Hubert asking the questions in his usual amusing way, sometimes ending his question with a Michael Jackson-style “Ow!

We managed 24/30 this time round which was nowhere near enough to win; one team got full marks.

Afterwards we hotfooted it down to the Neptune Theatre where the show company were putting on a Musical Murder Mystery matinรฉe performance. Each audience member was given an answer paper and pencil, as Ronald Apora, the resident pianist, would be playing musical ‘clues’ and you had to put the answer on the sheet. The murder mystery was set on a cruise ship (where else?) with the legendary Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and the Captain (Master) Bates. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Entertainment host Brendo Simeon was the “sounds effects” specialist which gave rise to many laugh-out-loud moments.

It was hilarious! It was just like an old-fashion British farce, with plenty of innuendo and double entendres. As it was a one-off performance, there were also the occasional bloopers where the cast forgot their lines, laughed when they shouldn’t have, or ad-libbed and broke the fourth wall. We really enjoyed it; it certainly brought some comic relief to the afternoon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards we returned to cabin 3326 for a power nap before it was time to attend the next talk from nature photographer and birdwatcher Richard Lovelock; the talk was about the White-Tailed Eagle and where they can be found in the UK, and what measures are being taken to protect the species. It was, as ever, interesting and thought-provoking. What I really love about cruises is that you can make every day a school day, and learn something new. ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards we had a look around the shops to see if there were any special offers (none this time) before returning to our cabin to get showered, shampooed and changed for dinner. Looking out of the window, we could see “land ahoy” and soon the changes in the pitch of the Borealis‘ engines told us that this must have been Trondheim, where we were due to berth for the night. Trevor went out on deck in the cold to see if he could see anything interesting and to watch the ship being tied up.

In the Borealis Restaurant tonight only four of us were at table #126 as Andy and Kal had opted to eat in the buffet. As ever, I enjoyed a scrumptious four-course meal with a starter, salad course, main course and cheese, all washed down with chilled house rosรฉ wine and finished off with a ruby port to go with my cheese. Mark and Jan took a leaf out of our book and had a liqueur too, in fact, Mark wished he’d asked for a double! ๐Ÿ™‚

We took so much time chatting and enjoying our liqueurs and coffee that this time, instead of making gentle hints for us to leave the restaurant, our waiter actually came over and said we needed to vacate the table so he could get it ready for the second sitting! A sure sign that we thoroughly enjoyed the company on table #126 and never had any shortage of conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚

We then went along to the Neptune Theatre to bagsy our front-row seats for the second performance of the comedy magician, Dean Cordain. It took quite a few minutes for us to reach our seats because, once again, staff and passengers alike were coming over to have a look at my shoes. This time, I was wearing sequinned and beaded ankle boots with stiletto heels, but they had little light bulbs in them that flashed and glittered with each step I took.

Irregular Choice ‘Winter Party’ boots

Once again, we really enjoyed Dain’s show which contained exactly the right mix of magic, patter and comedy. Then we went up to Deck 9 to the Observatory in time for the quiz. One of the things I found a bit daft was that, in order to maintain social distancing, they have put a limit of four people to each lift, but because of this it meant at peak time there were many people waiting for the four lifts, all standing outside shoulder to shoulder with no social distancing. It defeated the object of the four-to-a-lift rule.

Once the quiz was over (which once again we didn’t win!) entertainment host Brendo announced that, due to popular request, we were having another karaoke. In view of the boots I was wearing I thought it was appropriate to sing These Boots Were Made For Walking by Nancy Sinatra, which allowed me to strut around with the lights on my boots flashing for all they were worth. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some of the singers who were up the other night got up to sing again, and once again it was a lively night. Where some of the singers were clearly struggling, Brendo would sing with them to help them out, or he’d ask the audience to join in, so it was a happy, cheerful atmosphere in the Observatory. Before the end of the evening I would sing two more songs: Will You by Hazel O’Connor and Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. Once again, the karaoke went on until well after midnight.

Trevor and I then had a nightcap and returned to our quiet, still cabin for the evening and settled down. We’d enjoyed an excellent sea day and looked forward to exploring our final port of call tomorrow.

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